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Irish Museum of Modern Art identified as possible temporary mortuary site

It was announced yesterday that the Government is working with other agencies to prepare for the possible need of temporary mortuary facilities.

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
Image: Shutterstock/Antonello Aringhieri

THE IRISH MUSEUM of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin has been requested by the Government to allow a temporary mortuary to be constructed on its grounds. 

It was announced yesterday that the Government is working with other agencies to prepare for the possible need of temporary mortuary facilities as the number of Covid-19 cases in Ireland rises.  

Elizabeth Canavan from the Department of the Taoiseach said that it was a “deeply sensitive issue”, and was part of preparing for the consequences of a surge in cases. She added that “we are also preparing for the wider consequences of the surge, including the deeply sensitive issue of temporary mortuary facilities.”

This afternoon, IMMA confirmed it had been requested to facilitate the construction of a temporary mortuary on the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, which operated as a hospital until 1927. 

“We are determined to assist with the national effort while realising that this impacts on public access to the site significantly,” IMMA said in a statement this afternoon.

“While this is, of course, a reminder of the seriousness of this situation, the dignity and solemn beauty of the grounds is appropriate,” it added. 

“We think with great compassion and respect for the families of those who may need these facilities in the times to come. We thank you for your understanding,” the museum said. 

Ireland currently has 1,819 confirmed Covid-19 cases, out of 18,000 who have been tested. Nineteen people have died from the virus. 

In other European countries, make-shift morgues had to be arranged as the number of cases and deaths surged: in Madrid, an ice rink in a shopping centre was used by Spanish authorities to cope with the surge in deaths.

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